And justice for all: Govt put on notice in judges’ appointment case

Justice Afridi refuses to hear case as he was part of selection committee


Our Correspondent November 20, 2015
Peshawar High Court. PHOTO: PPI

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court has put the provincial government and other respondents on notice in a case involving the appointment of 120 judges in lower courts. The respondents have been asked to submit a detailed reply.

A divisional bench headed by Justice Yahya Afridi heard the petition filed by Waheedullah on Thursday.

However, Justice Afridi said he could not hear the case as he was part of the selection committee. He adjourned the case and ordered that another bench be formed to hear the proceedings. The next hearing is on Friday (today).

Waheedullah filed the petition through his attorney, Advocate Aminur Rahman. He said the PHC had invited applications for 77 vacant positions of civil judges and judicial magistrates through an advertisement on September 3, 2013. The petitioner applied for one of the posts.

Waheedullah said he was astonished to find another advertisement had been published on August 10, 2015 by the Public Service Commission for 120 more vacancies. However, the eligibility criteria were different. “Applicants who have already applied for the post of civil judges advertised by PHC through the 2013 advertisement should apply again to the Public Service Commission,” the petition quoted the latest ad as saying.

He said the K-P Judicial Service Rules 2001 had been drastically amended in a surreptitious manner without taking the future of hundreds of law graduates into consideration.

In his petition, Waheedullah said the previous candidates had already been declared eligible by the court. He said the mala fide intentions of the respondents could be gauged from the government’s notification.

The petitioner argued the notification was not sustainable and deserves to be struck down as it is against fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

The court has the jurisdiction to annul the notification, he stated.

Citing judgments of different courts, he pleaded the court to accept his writ petition and asked that the notification published in August be declared void and illegal.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 20th, 2015.

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